Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Galveston Island Camping Trip

We  squeezed this quick trip in since we were not able to last fall.  We LOVED the location and the weather was perfect!

We had a beach side campsite with sand dunes in between us and the water.  Going to bed...oh my...was heavenly since we listened to the waves crashing all night long.

The park was destroyed by Hurricane Ike in September of 2008.  It is making a lovely come back.

(I LOVE this photo!)

Upon checking in, I have to say, the staff of women were very rude.  Not very helpful at all.  And as David said, "They are getting paid by us, the tax payers.  It is their job to help."

Baby is still in her pj's top.  We left bright and early so that we would get a prime camp site and then enjoy the beach a bit.

A disturbing first for David and I.

As we left for Galveston on Sunday morning, just south of Dallas on I-45, we came upon some kind of accident scene.  A dozen squad cars with lights flashing, but no accident.    Then we saw one shoe on the side of the road quickly followed by a blanket with the outline of what appeared to be a body.

I asked David if that was what I thought it was.  "Yup."  The kids were watching a movie and never saw what we did.  Thank God.

So very sad!!  The police report said the a body was reported lying on the side of the road.   Cause of death not determined yet.

Not a pleasant start.

Continuing on...

After setting up camp and playing on the beach for a bit, we headed to Galveston Island's Historic Pleasure Pier.

The kids were so excited to see this place.  Last time we were in Galveston, the pier held the remains of the old Flagship Hotel that Hurricane Ike had destroyed in September 2008.

Prior to that, the pier held the original amusement park.  It had been destroyed by Hurricane Carla in 1961.

Those hurricanes!

We had been planning to go to this for some time when I found out it was only opened on the weekends.  (We arrived on Sunday.)

To please the kids, we left camp and headed to the seawall for some fun.

(What's wrong with this picture??!!)

My kids were tired and crabby in the car.  More than the "normal" when traveling.  There were lots of bickering and it was grating on my nerves.

To be honest, I had hoped this good time would replace the grumpiness.

(David's friend, who lives in Houston, drove down to spend the evening with us at the pier.)

Those two in the above picture were getting ready to go on a fast and upside ride.  I was more nervous for them than they were.

Can you see them hanging upside down up there?  (Me neither.)

I mean they appeared to be having fun, right?

Not Stan.  He (all of a sudden)  doesn't like rides.  Since when?  It was so frustrating.  Let's just say, we wasted a ride pass on that boy.

It would have been cheaper to purchase his rides a la mode since he went on maybe 4??

The girls decided to go up on this crazy high swing ride.  Ester flew it solo.  Brave girl!

That picture of the swing's height does not do it justice.

This swing ride was more Stan's speed.

(I love this photo, too!)

I must say, the baby has to be, hands down, THE best traveller ever!!  Little sleep and she is always smiling and babbling.

We had decided to eat at the pier.

Traveling  + early day  + sun  + crazy rides = kids not feeling well and/or  cranky at dinnertime.

By the time dinner was over, it was late and getting dark, and we had to drive 12 miles back to the state park.

Looking back, we should have said NO to the amusement park and just called it an early evening.  We were one grumpy group by the time we pulled into camp!!

Except the baby.  Who was sound asleep.

David made bacon and eggs for breakfast the next morning.  After dishes and some more organizing, the kids were on the beach by 8:30 am!

I had been nervous since there were signs up about "Beware of Poisonous Snakes in Sand Dunes" and heard about jelly fish and seaweed problems.

There were NO jelly fish that we could see (and the kids were out in the ocean swimming), nor seaweed issues.  And Sally only saw one snake on the last morning.   Thank God she didn't step on it.

The state park's beach was almost empty because of it's southern location from the main section of town and the admission fee (if you do not have a park pass.)

We have a Texas State Park Pass and only paid $37 for two nights camping there (site with electric and water.)

But there were these bugs.

Love bugs.

Do you know why they are referred to as Love bugs??  MmmHmm!

We noticed that they started "waking up" around 8:30am as we headed for the beach, and we had no idea how bad they would get.

Around noon, I went back to the campsite to start lunch and feed the baby.  I could have cried.  Those LOVE BUGS were just swarming....everywhere!

When Sally saw the swarm of bugs, she put it this way  :: "Mom, it looks like a plague!"

Long story short...we piled into the van to eat lunch.

Since baby needed a nap, we decided to take a car ride and do something the kids and I have never done.

We went for a FREE ride on a ferry.

It was really a neat experience.

The ferry system connects people (and their vehicles) between Galveston Island and the Bolivar Peninsula.

(The girls were watching the porpoises jumping out of the water alongside the ferry.)

I don't know what it was about being in the van though.  Every single time we were, the kids would bicker.  I must admit how disappointing it was as a parent.

By the time we got back to camp, the bugs were gone and we sent the older four  back to the beach in order to organize dinner.  

A lecture on behavior,  a hot dog roast,  early evening showers, and sitting around the campfire seemed to make the evening pretty enjoyable.

**  And I just realized how late it is getting and how LONG this post has become.  So sorry for the length.  I add our last day's pictures on another post this week!  **

I'll be back soon!

~  Patty  ~


  1. What fun!! That looks like some very good family time. Love it! I wanted to be there right with you, which says a lot since it included rides of which I'm very afraid of (ahem and get sick on). Great photos, but the ones with Clementine and her parents made me smile most!

  2. Looks like fun, Patty...with many wonderful memories made! I loved all the pictures as are one awesome mom! Have a restful day, dear friend!

  3. The squabbling! Sigh... All in all though it looks like a fun trip!! Beautiful pictures of the beach :)

  4. What an adventure! It sounds like a wonderful time mixed in with some pretty typical big family dynamics. But doesn't everything look just magical in pictures?! ;) I always tell my kids I like still pictures better than videos because there is no sound! We had a similar experience camping- only with bees. EEK! Now that was an adventure.


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